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Page 257

1. It is written using personal pronouns.

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM:
PERSONAL PRONOUN USAGE

Example: Question and Answer 1

Q. What is thy only comfort in life and death?

A. That I with body and soul, both in life and death, am not my own, but belong unto my faithful Savior Jesus Christ; who, with His precious blood, hath fully satisfied for all my sins, and delivered me from all the power of the devil; and so preserves me that without the will of my heavenly Father, not a hair can fall from my head; yea, that all things must be subservient to my salvation, and therefore, by His Holy Spirit, He also assures me of eternal life, and makes me sincerely willing and ready, henceforth, to live unto Him.


2. It is written in an experiential, rather than a doctrinal order.

HEIDELBERG CATECHISM:
EXPERIENTIAL ORDER

Example: Question and Answer 2

Q. How many things are necessary for thee to know, that thou, enjoying this comfort, mayest live and die happily?

A. Three; the first, how great my sins and miseries are; the second, how I may be delivered from all my sins and miseries; the third, how I shall express my gratitude to God for such deliverance.


The Belgic Confession, as most confessions, catechisms, and doctrinal works, was written in a doctrinal order. The authors of the Heidelberg Catechism, however, chose to write in an experiential order - misery, deliverance, and thankfulness - the order in which a person experiences the truths of salvation. These two orders are compared in the chart on the following page.

The Heidelberg Catechism was written in both a personal and an experiential manner. How do these two traits contribute to the effectiveness of catechism preaching?






Why was the Heidelberg Catechism written in an experiential order? What are the advantages when preaching from the catechism in this order?

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